San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker scored a game-high 20 points while dishing out nine assists, and Kawhi Leonard put up 18 points to lead their team to a blowout win over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 of their NBA playoffs series by the score of 105-83 Sunday.
San Antonio was determined to avoid having a repeat performance of when they loss Game 1 the last time these two teams met in the first round of the NBA playoffs two years ago. The No. 8 seed Grizzlies eliminated the No. 1 seed Spurs out of the postseason that time.
This time, the Spurs got off to a fast start, leading by 17 points at the end of the first quarter. Then, when the Grizzlies rallied to cut the lead to six points during the second half, San Antonio was able fend it off and run away with the victory. The game got so out of hand, that both teams ended up sitting their starters with over five minutes remaining, as the Spurs held a 21-point lead.
Quincy Pondexter scored a team-high 17 points for the Grizzlies, but Memphis’ All-Star forward Zach Randolph failed to connect on his first seven shot attempts and ended up scoring just two points, which came off a tip-in with 9:26 remaining in the game.
The Memphis Grizzlies defense, which ranked No. 1 in the league in terms of points allowed during the regular season, was not playing at the level we have grown accustomed to seeing. They allowed San Antonio to shoot 53 percent from the field, which included a franchise NBA playoffs record 14 made three-pointers, while Randolph, one of the Grizzlies’ primary offensive threats, struggled throughout the game. Z-Bo was a complete non-factor versus the Spurs, after putting up a playoff career-best 28 points and 14 boards during Game 5 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which is when the Grizzlies closed out their Western Conference semifinals series back on Wednesday night.
The San Antonio Spurs will look to go up 2-0 in Game 2, which will be played on Tuesday night.